Accessible sortable table

Colin Clark colin.clark at
Thu Aug 14 22:32:40 UTC 2008


Great to hear from you. I enjoyed meeting you at the Sakai conference.  
I hope you don't mind if I copy the fluid-work mailing list, since  
this is an interesting question.

On 13-Aug-08, at 11:10 AM, Lovenalube wrote:
> Stephen Marquard suggested that I write to you regarding an issue with
> setting up sortable tables using Fluid. After going through the Fluid
> docs, I've been able to make a sortable table accessible using the
> keyboard arrows, the problem is that the onSelect event call cannot
> sort the column. I'm using Table Sorter from

I'm glad you managed to get the keyboard selection working with Table  
Sorter. Here's an idea for how to get the activation code working,  
even though Table Sorter doesn't seem to provide any sort of API for it.

Can you programmatically call click() on the column within your  
activatable function? Here's a sketch:

$(tableRows).activatable(function (column) {;

 From a quick scan of the code, they've clearly got a click handler on  
each of the column headers. So this should trick it into thinking the  
user actually clicked on the column header.

If this doesn't work, we could probably hack the code to add the  
necessary API and see if the author is interested in the patch.

Once you've got keyboard accessibility working, I'd be happy to lend a  
hand getting ARIA roles and states added to it. Just let me know.


Colin Clark
Technical Lead, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, University of Toronto

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